Workplace social dialogue as a form of ‘productive reflection’

P Cressey, Peter Totterdill, Rosemary Exton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This paper takes another look at the concept of employee participation in
European Workplaces. It does so by combining a review of the research
literature and case study material to describe contemporary practice inside
enterprises, and documents the variety and differentiated forms of workplace
social dialogue that exist. That review and research suggests that
whilst the more formalistic kinds of structures have declined in recent
years, interest in and the operation of workplace social dialogue have burgeoned.
The article investigates how participative structures are adapting
to current enterprise reality and use the term “productive reflection” as
another way of describing the process of participation. This draws attention
to the possibility that dialogue can take place within different spaces
and at different levels of the organisation. The article suggest that, for it to
be effective, productive reflection requires a number of pre-conditions, including
equality of esteem and high levels of trust relations between actors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-245
Number of pages37
JournalInternational Journal of Action Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • employee participation
  • social dialogue
  • workplace,


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